Belarus: FITCH expects Belarusian insurance sector to remain under the state-owned companies' dominance

State-owned companies will continue to dominate the insurance market of Belarus in the medium term, the latest FITCH Ratings' report states.

Last year half of the 16 Belarusian insurers were state owned and accounted for 88% of the market GWP. The remaining market players were privately owned domestic and foreign-owned companies.

The 16 active insurers as of the end of 2017 included 12 non-life insurers, 2 life insurers, 1 export credit agency (ECA) and 1 reinsurer; the number of companies declined from 25 in 2011 leading to concentration of the market. The TOP-5 companies generated 77% of GWP in 2017, at that an average GWP of TOP-5 during 2012-2016 period amounted to 76%.

According to FITCH Belarusian market in the medium term will have limited growth opportunities. The insurance penetration in the country is still low at the level of 1.1% of GDP; however, this rate is the second highest in CIS after Russia, but low vs European average figure (6.7%). The Belarusian government is encouraging foreign capital into the insurance sector and intends to fully liberalize the sector by 2025. Fitch Ratings believes that in the short to medium term, foreign insurers will increase their market share only marginally.

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